Ode to the Incomplete

Posted: July 8, 2013 by jennroig in Chronicles, English, Miscellaneous, Photography, Travels
Tags: , , ,

capitolio romaThere’s something about puzzles that has always drawn me. sky

When the pieces are spread all over, I kind of ask myself what’s supposed to be my role in it.

Am I supposed to be the fixer of something broken?

Am I supposed to be the creator or producer of something new?

Puzzles are just one symbol of anything that is incomplete out there. Puzzles, crosswords, I feel this crazy need to solve them, to complete them. I guess I have that one addiction.

There’s potential in the incomplete. There’s an unanswered question in the incomplete. There is opportunity and there is pain.

Whenever I travel, sometimes without noticing, sometimes with full awareness, I take photos in a way that the frame is incomplete. I focus on a part of the object, leaving the rest out. I break the object. I hope that while breaking it, I can see it better from within. Most of the time it doesn’t work, it’s just one more evidence that I’m not a gifted photographer.

Like these columns.

columnasOr like these bars.

budapestThere’s some level of attraction implied in everything that hasn’t been totally uncovered, or totally done. It’s open to continuity, like a road, or an open door. Even if it’s meant to take you down, like in this water drainer.

sinkerSometimes there are pieces of something else in places that surprise me, where it doesn’t belong, where it shouldn’t supposed to be. Like this huge poster in a wall on a side of one of Amsterdam’s cannals.

cardOther times it’s just part of a ruin.

santa lucia cerro (28)Sometimes you may even find something incomplete camouflaged in the landscape. Mahuida (48)Like these cellphone towers camouflaged behind palm trees.

I took this shot from my balcony, in my flat in Chile, when I was still living there. I think it must have been the most unintended frameof my entire life.


It was random. It felt random. I just wanted to take pictures of the mountains, which I could see every morning and sunset from my balcony.  And the sight of the city that was out there, in front of me for months, without me doing anything to keep it somehow before I had left forever. I needed to repair that fault, when I saw this, just a piece of the iron bar separating me from down there. I didn’t think it twice. I just shot. I guess I could have erased it afterwards, but I didn’t.


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